VOX magazine is LIVE from Sligo this week at the New Wine Ireland Sligo Summer Conference. Visit the LIVE Blog for regular photos, videos and updates throughout the day. Experience the action as it happens! #sligo14
Monday 7 July
09.11 Good morning from Sligo IT where folks have already been praying at the start of this new day. Looking forward to the Bible teaching this morning with David Parker, Lead Pastor of the Desert Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Southern California.
09.34 Just starting out this morning. David McClay reading again from Psalm 34… "Those who seek the Lord, lack no good thing!"
09.36 Paul Jardine from New Wine Ireland and Tash Creaney from 24/7 Prayer Ireland kick off a time of prayer for the nation gathering stories of what God is doing on this island. Today we are praying for Leinster and Susan Heaney shares some of what God is doing.
09.39 Susan Heaney says, "2013 was a tough year but there is a sense that this is shifting and changing and God is building hope and faith. We can't look behind us any longer. It is time to move forward, even if it is a tiny step. What we have in common is more important than our differences. Two things for prayer for Leinster: 1) the next generation (we need churches equipping and releasing young people to reach out to young people) and 2) to get outside the walls of our buildings to meet hurting and broken people."
09.57 Worshipping together in the Arena of Sligo IT this morning. See a taster here.
10.18 Getting ready to hear the morning message from David Parker, Lead Pastor of the Desert Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Southern California.
10.26 At the end of chapter 9 of Matthew's gospel, the writer summarises Jesus' ministry (Matthew 9: 35 - 38). Then Jesus sends out His disciples to do exactly the same things in chapter 10!
When they went from helping and supported Jesus, to actually doing the things He was doing, that was frightening.
10.37 Jesus sends us out as lambs among wolves. We need to be vulnerable and soft-hearted but also shrewd! We are going to overcome but in a way that is compassionate.
The world produces soft-headed and hard-hearted creatures. We need to be tough-minded and soft-hearted people.
Truth needs to take a deep root in our lives. We seek to live a life of faith in a world of tragedies, trials, temptations and testings. Following Christ requires us to combine toughness and tenderness, innocence and shrewdness.
We hunger for what is true and for what God has for us. Ultimately, that hunger won’t be satisfied by information but by encounter.
Our convictions are deepened because we do something with what we believe. We must put it into action. Confidence comes from love and character - our convictions are linked to who God is, His character, His grace and His love. Read a summary of David's message here.
11.29 Preparing for the morning seminars and hoping for some coffee (if my amazing hubby can brave the queue). Intrigued by this next session "Living Generously" with Steve Morris. Last year, Steve and his family attempted to give away all their money to the poor - the session explores what happened!
Living Generously with Steve Morris
11.19 I come an ordinary Christian family and go to a normal church. What happened to us by a 'God-accident'… our lives were hijacked. We never ever thought what we would be speaking about our experience.
One day you will hear a story that will fundamentally change the direction of your life.
What is your story? What do you really care about it? The beginning of leadership is a complaint. What area of injustice, or poverty, or the church gives you cause for complaint? What do you need to do about it?
Model what you want to see: Don't expect other people to do what you are not willing to do yourself.
We have been lavishly and generously saved: Living generously flows from God's grace.
It is not just money: People can give their expertise, their time, their prayer and their money. How can you generously bless your community? Too often the church is known for asking but not for giving!
Travel light and keep it simple. This is not your home, we are just passing through.
Biblical principles about money:
- Money is not evil but the love of money is
- The parable of a rich fool ("retirement mentality" is foolish)
- Money can be an idol (where is our security?)
- Money does not make us happy ("chasing the wind")
- When Jesus says the poor is always with us, He was addressing Judas (who was stealing from the money pot!)
We are so materialistic - if we want to see a move of God and a nation transformed and changed, the idols of money, sex and power need to topple! We need to live differently!
13.00 Steve Morris prays that churches in Ireland will be known for their love and generosity! Heading for lunch now and the blog will be quiet for a while this afternoon (I'm involved in leading a session so can't do both!!) Check in later on for some more!
19.08 Sorry for the long break folks… two afternoon sessions on church planting and on art in worship! But now back online and ready to bring you up-to-the-minute info from this evening's celebration. The arena is fill up and there is a great buzz!
19.22 Paul Jardine from New Wine Ireland introduces the vision of local churches working together to see Ireland transformed. "We have a dream that one day there will be a local church in every city, town and village in Ireland that is proclaiming and demonstrating the Kingdom of God in the power of the Holy Spirit and that is raising, equipping and releasing disciples to grow His kingdom."
19.35 Simon Genoe says “God wants to give us a deep clean… to get rid of the things that are holding us back. Let us not wait until Friday night. Let us be hungry, hopeful and humble enough to respond to what God is doing in our lives.”
God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him. When I got my act together, he gave me a fresh start. Now I’m alert to God’s ways; I don’t take God for granted. Every day I review the ways he works; I try not to miss a trick. I feel put back together, and I’m watching my step. God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes. Psalm 18: 20 - 24 (The Message)
20.05 Preparing to listen to Mark Bailey from Cheltenham...
20.15 The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized in the lifetime of an opportunity. We have been created for "more". No one wants to settle for mediocrity.
Regret has a unique sting. You don’t only feel the pain but you know you had the power to do something and yet you didn’t. The Bible is full of regrets.
I want us as a local church to accomplish ridiculously amazing things for God. We want to impact our community, our region and the nation.
Joshua has unbelievable faith… He is an Israelite who was born into captivity. He got to experience their deliverance from Egypt. Eventually he became Moses' assistant. When the people came to the promised land, Joshua urged confidence but the people retreated in fear.
When God offers you a faith-filled moment, what is your response? Many retreat in fear. We are afraid of making mistakes. The cost of missing out can be worse than the cost of messing up. When you shrink back, you not only impact your own life but also the lives of others around you.
20.36 The big moves of God are always preceded by obedience to God in small things.
On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel, “Sun, stand still over Gibeon and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies. Joshua 10: 12
20.41 Most of us can barely rustle up a prayer for a parking space on a Sunday morning! Joshua prays for the sun to stand still!! What is your sun-stand-still prayer? What do you so desperately and long to happen that you need an act of God?
What appears to be impossible for us is not remotely difficult for God. Does that mean that every time we pray a sun-stand-still prayer that God answers? No! And I don’t understand why.
You may be saying, “I’m not a Joshua.” So how do you get to that point? Exodus 33:11… Joshua stayed behind in the Tent of Meeting and spent time with God. He pursued the presence of God. The bottom line is that contact with the creator is essential if we want to live faith-filled lives. We need to be disciplined to spend time with him in prayer and worship.
We need to meet with God, to be renewed by God, to be filled with His spirit again and again so we can live the faith-filled lives, He calls us to live.